New Invisible Man is radically different as well as fearfully intense.
2000’s Hollow Man, and it’s 2006 direct-to-video sequel, were the last cinematic versions of H.G.Wells’ seminal classic, The Invisible Man. The preferable former starred Patriots Day’s Kevin Bacon as the trifle eccentric scientist Sebastian Cain whose invisibility serum transforms him into a megalomaniacal killer. His common jokes about being “god” had definitely gotten the better, and worst of him.
In this upgraded incarnation of Wells’ immortal sc-fi tale, brilliant scientist Adrian Griffin (Oliver-Jackson Cohen) is even more of an abusive mess than Bacon’s Caine. Especially towards his wife Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss), who informs us right from the start that she’s terrified of this man, and makes a desperate attempt to escape.Naturally, it’s anything but easy since their statuesque domicile is so efficiently rife with security cameras and alarms which Cecilia must immediately, and cautiously deactivate.
After a narrowly death defying getaway via her sister Emily’s (Harriet Dyer) car, Cecilia manages to hide out at the home of childhood friend, and police detective James Lanier (Aldis Hodge) along with his ambitious daughter Sydney (A Wrinkle In Time’s Storm Reid). However, Cecilia is still paranoid about Adrian finding her. Until she receives some unexpected news that could be a blessing one fortnight later; it seems Adrian has committed suicide.
Meeting with Adrian’s considerably more civilized brother (and lawyer) Tom, Cecilia receives the bittersweet news that her late husband has willed her the handsome amount of $5,000,000 – with certain conditions. In any proverbial case, it looks like her severe anxiety over her dominating husband, will not dominate her life any more.
But our heroine soon realizes that not everything is what it seems, her mind and heart still feeling the presence of her late husband, despite the canister of cremated ashes Adrian showed her. When mysteriously odd and blatantly violent events start occurring that Cecilia alone is exposed to, there’s no doubt in her mind that the nightmare that was her “late” husband Adrian is not really dead. And although she is the only one who knows Adrian is not actually deceased, Cecilia understandably has an extremely difficult time trying to convince her friends that he has found some way to make himself invisible.
As the seasoned helmer of the well received Saw franchise, writer/director Leigh Whannell has effectively created an exceptionally unique version of H.G. Wells sci-fi tome. Horror fans who have viewed other versions of The Invisible Man should realize this immediately when they see just how our fierce antagonist pulls off his vanishing act. No spoiler intended, but our brilliant scientist realizes that God did not design our bodies to vanish at will, and that some other method, rather than chemical injections or a serum must be used to render oneself completely unseen.
Elizabeth Moss who has come a long way from playing a pre-adolescent Lucky Santangelo in the 1990 tv mini-series, Lucky, is thoroughly convincing as a woman terrified. You are assuredly on her side every time she encounters something, or rather someone, she can’t see, and you know she’s not crazy. Although that certain condition in Adrian’s will may come to fruition because some people may believe she’s a bit disturbed.
Unfortunately, one of these people is her current guardian, James, who despite Cecillia’s radical anxiety regarding her dead husband. is perfectly willing to give her shelter and provide a makeshift comfort zone. Brian Banks star Aldis Hodge renders a perfect performance, despite his talents being terribly underused. While he is one of Cecillia’s closest friends, it will definitely take more than her word alone to persuade him to believe in an invisible man.
Naturally, tensions mount nearly exponentially from Cecilia’s forced institutionalization to the point where her skeptics realize she may be telling the truth. It builds to a climax as unique as Adrian’s invisibility method, and could make H.G.Wells fans wonder what he himself would have thought of this adaptation.